Government spends extra £160m on Brexit contracts

7 May 2019

The UK government has extended nine consultancy contracts which were due to expire last month and awarded a further 11 to help with Brexit preparations ahead of the 31 October deadline.

Research by public sector data provider Tussell found the Cabinet Office (CO) has extended contracts with nine suppliers including Accenture, Deloitte and Ernst and Young, until April 2020.

The contracts, initially worth £75m and due to expire last month, were awarded for "consultancy support for EU exit". They have met with criticism from MPs due to the secrecy surrounding them.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, told Sky News in January the secrecy around the contracts was “ridiculous” and she would be asking the National Audit Office to investigate.

New contracts have also awarded by the CO to 11 suppliers for “programme delivery (EU exit)” to suppliers including Capgemini, Bramble Hub and Harmonic.

Documents published by the government showed the new contracts are worth between £3m and £6m each for accounting, auditing, IT and management services.

The extended and new contracts could be worth up to £159m, bringing the total potential value of the contracts to £234m, according to Tussell.

In February 2019, Tussell found the government had awarded contracts with a potential value of £107.3m since the EU referendum to suppliers to help navigate Brexit preparations.

Gus Tugendhat, founder of Tussell, said: “We applaud the government for the commitment to transparency inherent in publishing these contract extensions on a timely basis, allowing for public scrutiny of how much it is spending on delivering Brexit and with whom.

“These contract notices reveal that nine new firms are joining the incumbent providers to advise the government on Brexit in the coming months – suggesting that the scope of the task is only getting bigger, and that the government is engaging with a broader range of domain experts,” he added.

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